Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Priest guilty of child sex offences


A Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of committing sexual offences against seven boys between 1975 and 1993.

A jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, which is still considering four further counts against Alexander Bede Walsh, took around six hours to find him guilty of 18 charges of indecent assault and another serious sexual offence.

The jury also acquitted the 58-year-old of three counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

Walsh, of Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, near Rugeley, Staffordshire, had denied a total of 27 counts alleged to have been committed while he was working in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Coventry.

The clergyman, who was ordained in 1979 and has served in parishes in Coventry, Staffordshire and Oxfordshire, told his trial that he had never sexually abused or inappropriately touched any of the complainants.

The jury will resume its deliberations tomorrow on the remaining four counts, three of which relate to an eighth alleged victim.